Locke & Key season 1, episode 2 recap: Trapper/ Keeper

The past comes back to haunt the Locke family as more secrets are uncovered about Key House in the second episode of Locke & Key.

Having narrowly escaped the Mirror Key, the Locke children search for ways to come to terms with the mysteries of their new home, Key House, in this second episode of Netflix’s Locke & Key.

But as Tyler and Kinsey try to adjust to life in their new school, Bode can’t help but feel the call of the keys, and Nina begins to fall into the rabbit hole that was Rendell’s past life. Maybe some secrets are better left buried?

Another Key

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While his brother and sister have already started school, Bode has a week till his term starts—which means more time to explore the house. Unfortunately, it also means that Key House has more time to reveal more keys.

Bode finds a new key in an old vacuum cleaner but this one doesn’t seem to work on any of the doors in the house.

He finds a store that sells odds and ends and the gentleman explains that Bode’s key is probably from the 17th century. Readers of the Locke & Key series will know that a number of the keys were forged by Rendell Locke’s ancestors.

However, Bode makes a discovery at the shop—the new key doesn’t work on doors because it works on people. When brought into proximity of a person, a key-shaped hole opens up in the backs of their necks.

Bode tries it at home and has a literal out-of-body experience. He sees himself standing with the key in his neck, alongside a giant chest that hadn’t been there before. A chest that is full of colors and sound that Bode immediately descends into and invites his siblings to join him in.

Viewers have been given their first glimpse at the infamous Head Key. This key is going to play a huge part in Locke & Key, so keep your eyes peeled.

Freedom for Dodge

Dodge is enjoying her freedom—a little too much. She eats almost every dish available at a diner and uses the Anywhere Key to escape without paying the bill. She steals designer clothes from a store, then breaks into a jewelry store to liberate a necklace.

She even manages to enter Bode’s room and half-strangled him to death. The Anywhere Key is a dangerous tool in her hands.

Trapping Dodge

While trying out different doors for his new key, Bode comes across Rufus Whedon (Coby Bird), who takes care of the grounds of Key House.

Rufus is friendly and despite his interest in weapons, isn’t allowed to use any by his mother. However, unlike everyone else around Bode, Rufus is more than helpful when it comes to finding a way to trap Dodge.

Unfortunately, the trap doesn’t work—Dodge is much too smart and now she’s angry. She doesn’t like being betrayed. Bode has put a target on his back.

Rendell’s Past

Rufus’ mother Ellie (Sherri Saum) comes to pick him up from Key House. Nina is glad to meet her, even more so when Ellie reveals that she and Rendell went to school together.

They were part of a group of six close friends, including Lucas, who was Ellie’s partner and Rendell’s best friend. But a tragedy befell the group–three of them, including Lucas, drowned barely half a mile from Key House.

Nina is surprised to learn this because Rendell never spoke of a fatal drowning, or even that he had any friends. That Rendell was hiding his past from his family is only corroborated when Nina meets Tyler’s teacher, Joe Ridgeway (Steven Williams), who also taught Rendell.

Ridgeway remembers the group of friends being extremely close, and that their tragedy changed the town. Rendell was far from alone in school, but he always told Nina that he was a loner. He also told Kinsey that his family was estranged. What else was Rendell lying about? And why?

But the mystery doesn’t end here—Duncan has absolutely no memory of the drowning incident. He doesn’t know why he can’t remember something this traumatic, but he can’t. Could the Head Key have something to do with Duncan’s memory loss?

Matheson Life

Kinsey’s attempts at adjusting to life in school aren’t going well—she has no friends and Tyler refuses to sit with her. However, Scot Cavendish (Petrice Jones) wants to make amends for making Kinsey sit through a horror film that triggered her. He invites her to the shooting of his film and she accepts.

But the star of the film—Eden, the popular girl in school—backs out last minute and Kinsey takes her place. And is immediately triggered again. Kinsey isn’t dealing well with her trauma.

Tyler is struggling, as well. Not only did his attempts at having a night out with Eden get botched by memories of Sam Lesser, but he has lied to his new friends about it and they’re spreading rumors around the school. Instead of doing anything about it, Tyler continues to spend time with these friends, who are clearly not great influences.

They park in disabled parking spots—and earn a keying of their car from a disabled student. Then they try to shoplift, and almost get Tyler to join them. But when they rough up the store owner, Tyler stays back to help. He is rescued by the same student who keyed the car. Maybe Tyler should hang out with this boy instead of those jerks?

And Nina isn’t free from trauma either—while buying hardware for the house, she comes across a hammer which sends her back to Rendell’s death. With Sam Lesser going after Kinsey, and Tyler unable to get into the house, Nina, with a bullet in her leg, found the strength to drag herself up and knock Lesser out with a hammer. She still sees the blood when she holds a hammer.

Final Thoughts

The second episode of Locke & Key didn’t seem as polished as the first—though well-paced, scenes seemed to follow each other in a patchwork, rather than seamlessly.

Dodge is turning out to be a bit of a cop-out—in the graphic novels, she was terrifying, her shadow looming large over the lives of everyone she touched. In this series, she comes across as a generic waifu, more coquette than ghoul, which doesn’t do the character any justice. There is no menace here and it is bringing the showdown.

We have an explanation for why Nina can’t remember her experience in the Mirror from episode one—adults can’t retain the magic they encounter. This is from the graphic novel series but it hasn’t translated well on screen. What was the point of Nina entering the mirror at all if she is going to forget everything that happened?

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The biggest change in the Locke & Key adaptation is the rendering of the Head Key—in the books, the user of the key could see directly inside their head. This was obviously too difficult or too grotesque to replicate in live-action, hence the inclusion of the chest. It doesn’t have the grandeur of Gabriel Rodriguez’s art but hopefully next episode, we will see something spectacular.

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